|Publication number||US5193464 A|
|Application number||US 07/691,449|
|Publication date||Mar 16, 1993|
|Filing date||Apr 25, 1991|
|Priority date||Apr 25, 1991|
|Publication number||07691449, 691449, US 5193464 A, US 5193464A, US-A-5193464, US5193464 A, US5193464A|
|Original Assignee||Plastic Pallet Systems, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (14), Classifications (18), Legal Events (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a Continuation-in-Part of Canadian Patent Application No. 2030222, filed Nov. 19, 1990, entitled "Polymer Pallet Leg for a Cardboard Pallet Base", assigned to the same assignee as this patent application.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention pertains to a polymer pallet leg for a cardboard pallet base, and more particularly, pertains to a process and apparatus for using a plurality of polymer pallet legs for supporting a cardboard pallet base, usually a corrugated cardboard sheet to form a pallet support system. A pallet base insert is also provided for a pallet base and for a polymer pallet leg.
2. Description of the Prior Art
With environmental concerns, wooden pallets have become undesirable because of the problems of disposing of wooden pallets, the cost of wooden pallets, and most importantly, landfills not accepting wooden pallets as wooden pallets are not environmentally recyclable. Wooden pallets quickly fill up a landfill, do not degrade promptly and generally have become a burden upon the ecological society because of the filling up landfills with bulky substance. Further, wooden pallets cause the destruction of trees which is also not feasible from an ecological standpoint.
Prior art polymer pallet legs such as that in U.S. Pat. No. 3,915,099 by Wies, et al., issued on Oct. 28, 1975, for Support Column and Disposable Pallet Structure are limited in the "unit weight per surface area," as well as the statics and dynamics because of a single cup supporting-like structure with no backup or inverse-like supporting structure. The mass transfer is located from a leg and interrupted rim down through the cup to a base, and does not include any like inverse supporting relationship. This has static and dynamic limitations and structural concern, and can lead to structural static and dynamic failures.
The present invention overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art by providing a polymer pallet leg which includes a supporting structure and inverse supporting structure. The polymer pallet leg is of a polymer recyclable material. A pallet leg insert is provided to attach a pallet leg base for further weight distribution, conveying, or handling of the pallet system with the polymer pallet leg, the top pallet base, the bottom pallet base and the pallet leg insert.
The general purpose of the present invention is a polymer pallet leg for a recyclable pallet system, including a recyclable polymer pallet leg, and a recyclable corrugated cardboard pallet sheet or pallet surface. The polymer legs engage into and lock into a pallet surface, and integrate to form a pallet system. One of the interesting aspects and features of the pallet system is that the pallet leg can be reground to form new pallet legs, and the pallet sheet can be recycled to form new pallet sheets. Therefore, there is no need to scrap or throw away either the polymer plastic legs or the corrugated cardboard pallet sheets, as both can be recycled to again be manufactured into recycled components of the plastic leg and the pallet sheet of the pallet system. The entire pallet system can be made again from recycled materials. A pallet leg insert is provided to attach a pallet base bottom to the bottom of the polymer pallet leg. The combinations of the top base and/or bottom base, the polymer pallet leg, and the polymer leg insert forms the pallet system.
According to one embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a polymer plastic leg including a truncated cone with a base and an expanding cylinder wall extending upwardly, a rim extending thereabout with a downwardly extending lip spaced below a top edge of said wall, a plurality of locking tabs extending outwardly from a top edge, an inverse cone positioned within the truncated cone and including a top surface in a same plane as the locking tabs, whereby the top surface of the inverse cone, as well as the locking tabs, support an object placed upon the pallet sheet. The polymer pallet leg engages into four locking tab holes. The rim engages the bottom surface of the pallet. There can also be provided a brake tab for engaging up against and into the corrugated surface of the pallet sheet, and for locking the polymer plastic leg into position. A certain amount of corrugated cardboard is displaced which is caused by the engagement of the brake tab. The bottom surface cardboard pallet rests on the rim. The top surface of the inner cone engages the bottom surface of any goods placed on the pallet for additional support. A pallet base insert is also provided for frictional engagement with the polymer pallet leg for distributing the weight of the polymer pallet leg over a bottom pallet base and also for increasing the bottom surface area of the polymer pallet leg. The bottom pallet base also provides for conveying, handling and any other requirements for a bottom pallet base.
Significant aspects and features of the present invention include a polymer pallet leg which is three dimensional in static and dynamic stability, including a lower support surface for base support and an upper support surface for object support at the plane of the pallet.
Another significant aspect and feature of the present invention is a polymer pallet leg which is easily utilizable by any individual for engagement with a pallet sheet, and which can be readily engaged and disengaged from the pallet sheet for recycling.
A further significant aspect and feature of the present invention is a polymer pallet leg which is recyclable, as well as a recyclable pallet support sheet. The entire pallet system is recyclable.
An additional significant aspect and feature of the present invention is a pallet base insert for engagement into the polymer pallet leg to provide a larger base surface area, especially for passage across a conveyor system or for handling.
Having thus described the preferred embodiments of the present invention, it is a principal object hereof to provide a polymer pallet leg for use with a corrugated cardboard sheet or a wafer board which in combination is a recyclable and ecology minded pallet support system.
One object of the present invention is a polymer pallet leg which is readily usable with a pallet sheet of the pallet system, and which is also recyclable and cost effective.
Another object of the present invention is a polymer pallet leg which is stackable within other like polymer pallet legs prior to and after use.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a pallet leg insert for attachment of a base to the bottom of the polymer pallet leg.
Other objects of the present invention and many of the attendant advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof and wherein:
FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a polymer pallet leg, the present invention;
FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the present invention;
FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of the present invention;
FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the polymer pallet leg utilized with a corrugated cardboard pallet sheet to form a pallet system;
FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of the lower right corner of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of a first alternative embodiment;
FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of a pallet leg insert, a second alternative embodiment;
FIG. 8 illustrates a bottom pallet base secured to a pallet leg by the polymer pallet leg insert of FIG. 7; and,
FIG. 9 illustrates the groove-to-ring engagement of the polymer pallet leg insert to the polymer pallet leg with a bottom pallet base therebetween.
10 polymer pallet leg
12 truncated cone
14 inverse truncated cone
16 extending side
20 top edge
22 inverse extending side
24 top surface
26 base edge
30 downwardly extending edge
32a-32n locking tab mold holes
34a-34n locking tabs
36 fifth locking tab
38 locking tab hole
42 optimal mold release hole
50 cardboard top pallet base
70 pallet leg insert
72 planar member
74 beveled edge
76 tubular member
78a-d segmented gripping members
80a-c arcular grooves
82 beveled surface
85 inner circumference
86 bottom pallet base
90 annular rib or ring
FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a polymer pallet leg 10 of the present invention, including a truncated cone 12 and an inverse truncated cone 14. The first truncated cone includes an extending side 16, a base 18, and a top edge 20. The inverse truncated cone 14 includes an inverse extending side 22, a top surface 24, and a base edge 26 as illustrated in FIG. 2. The height of the top surface 24 is about the same or equal to the height of the top edge 20. A rim 28 with a downwardly extending edge 30, and spaced from the top edge as illustrated in FIG. 3, extends about the top edge 20 and includes locking tab mold holes 32a-32d. Locking tabs 34a-34d extend outwardly about the top edge 20. An optional fifth brake tab 36 with a corresponding locking tab hole 38 is provided to engage upwardly and into the corrugated cardboard surface as illustrated in FIG. 5 and as later described in detail.
FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view where all numerals correspond to those elements previously described.
FIG. 3 illustrates a top view where all numerals correspond to those elements previously described. Holes 40a-40d are in the base 18.
FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the polymer pallet leg 10 for insertion into a top cardboard or chip board pallet base 50. The polymer leg 10 is inserted into a top pallet base 50 in the lower right hole in the cardboard pallet to form the pallet, along with three other holes to retain the polymer pallet legs. Operation for insertion only requires a push of the polymer pallet leg 10 and a twist of the leg 10 for assembly to install the polymer pallet leg 10. The top pallet base 50 can be made of any suitable recyclable material.
FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of the lower right hand corner of FIG. 4 where all numerals correspond to those elements previously described. Illustrated in particular is the brake tab 36 which is angled up slightly from the planar surface of the rim 28 to frictionally engage the lower surface of the cardboard top pallet base 50.
FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of an alternative embodiment of a polymer pallet leg with a plurality of vertical supports 60a-60n connecting the cones together. The vertical supports tie the inner cone to the outer cone providing still further structural stability between the cones.
The height of the top surface 24 can be about equal to that of the top surface of the locking tabs 34, and can also be slightly higher or slightly lower than the top surface of the locking tabs as may be predetermined. Hole 42 and 44 release vacuum suction which can occur between the inner cones when the legs are stacked together. The pallet can be of any other suitable materials, such as corrugated plastic, a polymer sheet, chip board, plywood, etc. The distance between the locking tabs and the rim is determined by the thickness of the pallet base. The plastic pallet leg can also be color coded, as well as the pallet base for designation of the type of goods, the designation of manufacturer, etc.
FIG. 7, a second alternative embodiment, illustrates a perspective view of a pallet leg insert 70 for securing a planar pallet bottom base member as later described for a series or group of pallet legs 10. The pallet leg insert 70 includes a planar member 72 formed as a circle which includes a beveled edge 74, as illustrated in FIG. 8. A tubular member 76 extends upwardly at a right angle from the planar member 72. A plurality of like segmented gripping members 78a, 78b, 78c and 78d extend outwardly and upwardly from the upper portion of the tubular member 76, each containing a plurality of arcular grooves including arcular grooves 80a, 80b and 80c and a beveled surface 82 extending from the top of the groove 80a to the inner circumference 85 of the tubular member 76. Arcular grooves 80a-80c in each of the segmented gripping members 78a-78d snappingly engage with frictional engagement a ring in the lower inner portion of the pallet leg 10 as later described in detail. Spaces 84 a-84d between the segmented gripping members 78a-78d allow for inward flexing of the segmented gripping members 78a-78d for ease of engagement with the pallet leg 10. The beveled surface 82 allows for ready alignment and ingress to the pallet leg 10. Three arcular grooves 80a-80c are illustrated by way of example and for the purpose of illustration only, and is not to be construed as limiting of the scope of the present invention.
FIG. 8 illustrates the pallet leg insert 70 securing a bottom pallet base 86 to the base 18 of the pallet leg 10. A hole 88 is drilled in the bottom pallet base 86. The segmented gripping members 78a-78d are forcibly maneuvered through the hole 88 in the bottom pallet base 86. Any of the set of arcular grooves 80a-80c in the segmented gripping members 78a-78d snappingly engage an annular rib or ring 90 at the base of the inverted truncated cone 14, thus holding and securing the bottom pallet base 86 between the planar member 72 and the base 18 of the pallet leg 10. Any number of internal rings or internal rims 90 may be used in succession for engagement with one or more of the plurality of arcular grooves 80a-80c. One ring only is illustrated by way of example only, and is not deemed to be limiting of the scope of the present invention.
FIG. 9 illustrates the engagement of arcular groove 80b with the annular rib or ring 90 at the base of the truncated inverted cone 14 where all numerals correspond to those elements previously described.
Various modifications can be made to the present invention without departing from the apparent scope hereof.
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|U.S. Classification||108/56.3, 108/901, 108/53.3|
|Cooperative Classification||B65D2519/00572, B65D2519/00373, B65D2519/00567, B65D2519/00338, B65D2519/00019, B65D19/0028, B65D2519/00273, B65D2519/00104, B65D2519/00069, B65D2519/00323, B65D2519/00288, Y10S108/901, B65D19/40|
|Apr 25, 1991||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: PLASTIC PALLET SYSTEMS, INC., MINNESOTA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:MORDEN, ROY;REEL/FRAME:005686/0482
Effective date: 19910422
|Jun 6, 1994||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: PLASTECH SERVICES, INC., FLORIDA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PLASTIC PALLET SYSTEMS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:007022/0504
Effective date: 19930323
|Oct 22, 1996||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Mar 13, 1997||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
|Mar 13, 1997||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Oct 10, 2000||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Mar 18, 2001||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|May 22, 2001||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20010316